The Book of the Week is “Bang the Keys” by Jill Dearman, published in 2009. This book tells writers how to identify the kind of writer they are, set goals and deadlines, find a writing partner, use writing journals, meditate, identify the type of story right for them and improve their writing through advice, exercises and sources of additional readings.
This book’s author is a writing instructor and a published writer herself. It has been her practice to pair up writers in her classes so that one serves as morale booster and advisor to the other.
Computers have changed the way writers write. She cites Lee Siegel’s book, “Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob,” commenting that “Essentially, we are fast becoming a mean-spirited race of superficial idiots who are disconnected from each other and from ourselves, and can no long distinguish between gossip and news!”
Needless to say, finishing a piece of writing requires discipline. Many modern writers become easily distracted by texting, emailing and surfing. The author gives tips on marking goals on the calendar, setting aside writing time and imagining the kind of counsel one’s own favorite author would give about how to proceed and commit to a project.
The author provides a mnemonic device (P.L.O.T.W.I.C.H) to remind writers how to develop a strong plot: Premise, Links, Obstacles, Transformation, Wants, Impediments, Conflict and Heat. Overall, she discusses a general plan for writers denoted by the acronym B.A.N.G.: Begin, Arrange, Nurture and Go. This is why she says, “Bang the Keys.”